I was 36 when I realized I was in the wrong profession. As an Account Supervisor at a large, global advertising agency, I had succeeded. I was at the top of my game — but longed to do something else. I had officially gotten “the itch to switch.”
I learned that I loved speaking to groups. When training was needed at the advertising agency, I was the first to volunteer. I found that I had a knack for breaking down complex ideas into bite-sized pieces. Then, I discovered there was a whole discipline to it called “Adult Learning Theory.”
Another kind of person might have enrolled in a Master’s Degree program. Instead, I’m a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of gal, so I dove in head first and started offering training sessions. I enrolled in a few train-the-trainer conferences. Soon, I had a few clients. I was speaking at conferences and workshops about Career Confidence.
Then, I had to get the JOB that would make my new career real. I found that job opening and fought hard to pass the interviews – and there were 7! In my new position as Training Manager, I was privileged to create a curriculum from the bottom up.
Meanwhile, one of my other passions was languishing – living in a warmer climate, in a vibrant community with lots of new age thinking. After a short search, the city I identified was Austin. Starting over in Austin, creating a business from the ground up, was not easy. I blew a big chunk of my retirement savings, just living, while I got the business off the ground. But it worked.
In the process, I learned a lot about how to find passion and create your perfect work. Perhaps a few of the lessons can help you today:
- Your most important passion will likely be using a special talent. My “itch to switch” came from not being able to express a very significant talent in my life: speaking. Once I got a taste of that, the next steps began to reveal themselves.
- Work on one passion at a time. Your passions might include a certain type of work, a place to live, activities that are fun for you, using a special skill, fulfilling a dream goal, etc. Passions come in many flavors. It becomes too great a task to change everything about your life at once. Just too many spinning plates! Try working on ONE passion project at a time.
- You can fulfill your passions without a complete plan. You’ve probably heard the metaphor that you can drive in the dark, with the light from your vehicle headlights only shining 350 feet into the distance. You can complete a journey of 2, 20 or 2,000 miles, all in the dark, only seeing a little of what’s in front of you. It’s the same with passion: each move forward reveals more of the road ahead.
- Trust your intuition. If you have a desire to do something specific, trust that urging. It is likely coming from God Source, an angel, your Higher Self, or your soul. Whatever you call Spirit, it lives in all of us. We have been conditioned to ignore feelings, urges or “gut reactions.” You absolutely will feel more fulfilled if you pursue the idea that’s nagging at you. It’s OK to start small. Just make a move in the direction of your dream.
- Allow your dream to evolve. Oprah Winfrey is famous for saying, “When we know better, we do better.” You don’t have to hold yourself hostage to the decisions you made in your 20s. You are not that person! As you learn and grow, your Passion Project will evolve with you. It may change direction a bit. I began with the thought that I was going to do corporate training and motivational speaking. But client work proved that I was really more suited to one-on-one coaching. I found special empathy for younger professionals who felt stuck in their topped-out jobs. I evolved into a coach to help job seekers find higher-paying positions.
If you have the Itch to Switch, you might benefit from having a Career Coach who has lived the whole journey to finding perfect work. I’m here for you, if you need me.
On your side,
The Career Passion® Coach
PS: If you’d like to put words to your Career Passions® consider my Career Passion® Test. It’s just $29.99 and includes a 30-minute debrief by telephone. Email me and we’ll set one up.